ISLAMABAD - STAFF REPORT (FAWAD) - With a view to promote Kashmir cause and compensate the children of Kashmiri martyrs, Pakistan has doubled the number of scholarships offered to the students of occupied valley from 400 to 800, besides extending the tenure of the project for four years from 2019 to 2023.

The CDWP has already approved the project which will train the student from the Indian Held Kashmir in demand-driven disciplines.

According to the revised PC-I approved by the CDWP, the tenure of the project has been extended for 4 more years from 2019 to 2023. Starting from 2015, 300 scholarships will be offered to the medical students, 250 to the engineering students and the remaining 250 will go to the students of miscellaneous disciplines.

The Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination is the sponsoring and implementing agency of the project.

According to the working paper of the project available with The Nation, the total cost of the project is Rs 940.970 million and it will continue till June 2023. For the already existing 400 scholarships Rs 0.97 million per scholarship is allocated while for the additional 400 scholarships a sum of Rs 1.22 million per scholarship has been earmarked.

Rate of scholarship per student per annum include tuition fee, maintenance allowance, equipment and book allowance and return journey.

There will be a 20 percent increase in the scholarship in the first year and 35 percent for onward years up to Rs 300,000 in order to compensate the fresh as well as ongoing students for inflation over the past three years.

The original project was approved by CDWP in 2004 for award of 100 scholarships, in 2007 the number of the scholarships was increased to 200 and in 2012 it was enhanced to 400.

However in the technical appraisal report of the project, the Higher Education Commission has questioned the lack of information of PC-I and asked why the details of the candidates who have so far availed the scholarships and their expenditure was not included in the project PC-I.

Query has also been raised about the provision of Rs25,000 per month for first year and Rs 22,000 per month for subsequent years as study tour in the package for existing students. The ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination has been asked that why the provision has been made and what type of tour is required by scholars every month?

The HEC also questioned the allocation of 63.32 million for the creation of 9 posts in the project management unit (PMU), established in the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination, and 50 million for the salaries, allowances and honorarium.